TOMATO & SAUSAGE
1 Parmigiano-Reggiano rind, at least 3 inches long
3 cups chicken broth
2 tsp olive oil
6 pork sausages, preferably a heritage-breed variety such as Berkshire
1 celery rib, finely chopped
½ red pepper, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 ½ pints cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (I used whatever tomatoes I had, chopped up)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn
*I doubled the whole recipe except the sausages and added 3 potatoes, chopped. Instead of potatoes, it might be nice to add barley, lentils, or rice. I also put in half the basil leaves directly into the soup rather than as a garnish.
Simmer the rind with broth in a small saucepan until it becomes flavourful (20-25 mins)
Remove from heat.
Remove rind and discard.
Coat a large frying pan with oil (I used my 5 quart Dutch oven) and set over medium-high heat.
Add sausages and cook til golden (10-15 mins).
Add celery, red pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened slightly (about 3 mins).
Carefully add tomatoes and cook til tomatoes soften slightly (about 2 more mins).
Slowly pour in broth.
Gently simmer, partially covered, over medium-low heat, allowing flavours to infuse and sausage to cook through (this is also when I added the potatoes).
Cook about 10-15 mins.
Serve sausages whole or remove and carefully slice into pieces and add back to the stew.
Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
Garnish with a few fresh basil leaves and serve stew with crusty bread for dipping.
If making ahead of time, stew will keep well, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.